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CHAPTER XIX

How we cannot come to the true Light and Christ’s Life, by much Questioning or Reading, or by high natural Skill and Reason, but by truly renouncing ourselves and all Things.

 

Let no one suppose, that we may attain to this true light and perfect knowledge, or life of Christ, by much questioning, or by hearsay, or by reading and study, nor yet by high skill and great learning. Yea, so long as a man taketh account of anything which is this or that, whether it be himself, or any other creature; or doeth anything, or frameth a purpose, for the sake of his own likings or desires, or opinions, or ends, he cometh not unto the life of Christ. This hath Christ Himself declared, for He saith: “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”2323    Matt. 16:24. “He that taketh not his cross, and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me.”2424    Matt. 10:38. And if he “hate not his father and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.”2525    Luke 14:26. He meaneth it thus: “He who doth not forsake and part with everything, can never know My eternal truth, nor attain unto My life.” And though this had never been declared unto us, yet the truth herself sayeth it, for it is so of a truth. But so long as a man clingeth unto the elements and fragments of this world (and above all to himself), and holdeth converse with them, and maketh great account of them, he is deceived and blinded, and perceiveth what is good no further than as it is most convenient and pleasant to himself and profitable to his own ends. These he holdeth to be the highest good and loveth above all. Thus he never cometh to the truth.

 


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